The Atlanta Braves were one of the best surprises from the 2018 MLB season and were able to take the National League East division title. When everything was said and done in the regular season, Atlanta had a 90-72 record. Unfortunately, their regular season success did not translate into postseason success.
Atlanta may have had a fairytale regular season, but they were knocked out 3-1 in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, the Braves are trying to make a few moves to take the next step.
Earlier this offseason, the Braves went out and signed former superstar slugger Josh Donaldson to a big one-year contract. Donaldson will give Atlanta another power bat to go along with an experienced player. There is another player that the Braves could pursue.
Bleacher Report has suggested that the Braves should look into acquiring Madison Bumgarner from the San Francisco Giants. It is purely speculation, but the move would make a lot of sense. Atlanta needs a true ace at the front of their rotation and Bumgarner can offer them just that.
Bumgarner was only able to start 21 games for the Giants last season. In those starts, he ended up compiling a 6-7 record to go along with a 3.26 ERA. He may not be as good as he once was, but the Braves don’t have anything close to the talent that Bumgarner would bring them.
Breaking: The Braves and 3B Josh Donaldson have agreed on a one-year, $23 million contract pending a physical, according to The Athletic. pic.twitter.com/NsI86pTxLc
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 26, 2018
At 29 years old, the article did have an idea of what the Braves would have to give up in order to get Bumgarner from the Giants.
However, any two of Kolby Allard, Luiz Gohara, Bryse Wilson, Joey Wentz and Kyle Muller might be enough to get the ball rolling, and they could fill out the package from there with a high-ceiling, low-level prospect or two.
San Francisco has been hesitant to trade Bumgarner over the past couple of years. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have the luxury of simply holding onto him any longer.
If the Giants do not trade him, they will risk his value lowering in a big way. On the other hand, if they do trade him, that would signal a rebuild that the fans will not be excited about. San Francisco is stuck in a very uncomfortable situation.
The kid lived up to the hype.
— MLB (@MLB) December 18, 2018
All of that being said, the Braves should be very aggressive in trade discussions. They are a piece or two away from competing for a World Series and acquiring Bumgarner might be that exact piece.
It has been entertaining to watch the young Braves claw their way back to relevance. They have finally done so and the excitement in Atlanta is at an all-time high. Going out and acquiring a legitimate star to headline the rotation would send the city into hysteria.
Expect to see the Braves continue to make moves this offseason. They are not done and acquiring an ace should be at the very top of their wish list. Bumgarner would be a perfect fit with the Braves, but even if they don’t get him, acquiring a starting pitcher is something that the Braves will likely try to do.